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i don't know yet, blue spring

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He’d fallen asleep surprisingly quickly - whenever she was sick, she’d spend all night tossing and turning, but her Senpai just needed to lie back down and he was out like a light. Unfamiliar with the layout of his house, she was struggling up the stairs with a basin of water, doing her best not to spill any. 

 

As much as she tried to deny it, this was nice, in it’s own way, taking care of him. It seemed sometimes that she threw her entire weight behind teasing and annoying him, but this - this was something gentler, almost familial. Dunking the towel into the water, she didn’t notice as he stirred, blinking blearily up at the ceiling.

 

They mumble quietly through conversation, and she quietly revels in the fact that he might not remember this later. A part of her hopes he does, but she shoves it down, rolls up her sleeves, and gets to work. 

 

At one point, during a rare moment where’s sitting up (although barely coherent), he says something that she only barely doesn’t catch. Subconsciously, she takes the empty cup from his hand and places it back down - it’s too easy to fall into this, as it’s rhythmic, almost. He’s so predictable.

 

“What was that?” she asks, and for once, there’s no bite in her voice. Again, she pushes the feeling down, lurching like a beast. 

 

“I’m sorry about all of this.” His voice sounds choked and rough, almost like it’s painful for him to even try to speak - she winces at the sound. “It’s- It’s rotten work.”

 

Nagatoro stays quiet for a single long moment, twisting her hands in her lap from where she kneels on the floor. By the time she replies, she’s almost certain that he’s asleep again - though she only barely misses catching herself from saying it at all.

 

“Not to me,” she half-whispers, even if nobody will hear. “Not if it’s you.”

 


 

The hours passed excruciatingly slowly, especially when she had nothing to do except play around on her phone in the space between checking his cold compress or making sure he was breathing and all - so could you really blame her for fishing around in his room a bit?

 

His room was kind of boring, kind of exactly what she’d expected, though a bit cleaner, maybe. Watercolours lined the same shelf as some of his manga, but beside she found a small, silver award.

 

2nd Place: Hachiouji Naoto

 

It was strange, how she’d never really thought about his name until it was staring her in the face. It’s really nothing special - she’s known him as Senpai for so long it feels like this is almost an entirely different person - but she looks at the engraved award and back at him and mouths the syllables. 

 

His name sounds foreign, weird when she says it, but it’s nice. She feels herself go red again, and places the award back haphazardly, busying herself with the cloth on his forehead again.

He sleeps so silently, nothing like when he's sputtering under her gaze usually. Both sides are nice, but she thinks she could get used to this.